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Princeton High School's Anna Intartaglia dribbles the ball through the offensive zone during a 49-24 home victory as the Little Tigers defeated Long Branch High School in the opening round of the Central Jersey Group 4 tournament.

The state basketball tournament runs for the Princeton High girls, Montgomery girls and Montgomery boys all came to an end with losses in the Central Jersey Group 4 state sectional tournament semifinals.

But for all three teams, the loss couldn’t put a damper on very successful seasons.

“It was a great year,” said Montgomery girls coach Matt Margon, whose team dropped an 80-52 decision to Marlboro. on March 1. “We were 18-7. The girls were unbelievable all year. They are such a hard-working group. They love being around each other and playing together, which is all you can ever ask for as a coach. They enjoy playing basketball and being in the gym. 

“We will return four of five starters next year. We hope to get back Kristin Lucht, who tore her ACL against North Hunterdon early in the season.  We hope to get back her back next year for her senior season.”

Third-seeded Montgomery was led by Carolyn Prevost, who scored 12 points, and Andrea Katramanos, who connected for10 in the state loss to second-seeded Marlboro, which went on to fall to Middletown South in the state sectional title game.

“They matched up well against us,” Margon said of Marlboro. “It was a good matchup for Marlboro because they did some things well that we struggled against. They shot well and pressured us and we weren’t ready to handle it. But we have a lot of girls back and we’re looking forward to next year.”

Margon was in his first season as the Cougars’ coach after serving as an assistant in the Montgomery boys’ program. After taking a little time to get used to the new system, Montgomery ran off nine straight victories in late December and early January.

“I thought it took us a little while to get going,” Margon said. “We started 1-1 with a loss to Stuart (Country Day). Then we hit our stride and won nine in a row. Once we learned how to play the style myself and the coaching staff were talking about we kind of took off from there. One thing we preached was defense and we worked on it every day and it was what hung our hat on this year. 

“A lot of our games outside of Marlboro we held teams around 40 points and that helped us. With the win streak we ended up beating a pretty good Gill-St. Bernard’s team and good Hunterdon Central and Watchung Hills teams. We had a good win against East Brunswick. I can’t say enough about how the girls bought in and played hard all season long.”

The fourth-seeded Princeton girls were eliminated from the Central Jersey, gGoup 4 stats sectional playoffs with a 53-31 loss at top-seeded Middletown South on March 1.

Erin Devine scored 10 points and Catherine Dyevich put in nine for the fourth-seeded Little Tigers, who finished the season with an 18-8 record.

Middletown South went on to beat Marlboro, 80-77, in the state sectional final on March  5.

The fourth-seeded Montgomery boys were eliminated from the Central Jersey, Group 4 state sectional tournament with a 46-43 loss at top-seeded Trenton on March 1.

Chris Rubayo led Montgomery with 20 points in the loss. The Cougars finished the season with a 20-7 record.

Trenton fell in the state sectional title game to Freehold Township, 57-56, on March 4.

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